Thursday, August 13, 2020

 Kenny, my neighbor, found an injured dog on his porch early this morning. He went to let out one of his dogs and this guy was lying there. Kenny called me this morning after he called animal control so I went over to see. A big pit bull male still intact with cuts and scrapes. Massive face. The saddest eyes. Not able to walk very well, maybe something wrong with his spine. No chip. 

Maybe a car hit him. Maybe he was in a fight. 

We stood around him while the animal control folks got him on a doggie stretcher and got him into their truck. I just heard they went right to the ER with him. 

I'm not about to lecture anyone who isn't a vegetarian. My father grew up on a farm and he hunted and fished and we ate whatever he brought home. Not everyone can be healthy on  a vegetarian diet. I'm not about to judge. 

What I would rather say is that as long as I can remember, my heart moves toward  and was moved by non humans. Baby birds, worms, bats, spiders, snakes. I really don't have a memory of recoiling when I encountered the wild varieties of life on this earth. Instead I was intrigued, curious and empathetic. Maybe that sounds weird but there it is. Kinship, I felt (and still feel) kinship. We're all trying to make our way, being moved by our destiny, whether we are ants or anteaters, a fallen sparrow or a red-tailed hawk. My dad loved nature shows-The Wild Kingdom comes to mind and I loved them too. 

I have a similar relationship with plants. I fuss over my house plants. I rejoice when the garden grows peas and spinach. There is a sense of gratitude for the interconnectedness of my life and the lives of other living things. 

So a big wounded dog on Kenny's kitchen floor this morning made his silent appeal. Which I heard. We all want to be safe and pain-free. We want care and tenderness. We want enough nourishment, food and light. We all love our lives, no matter how humble. The humming birds come to the feeders every day. Felix has his own mysterious ways. The bumble bees outside the window where I sit in morning meditation sleep all night inside the shelter of the flowers. 

Tonight I can wish the big buddy well. May he be safe and warm. May he be treated with kindness. And if he is irrevocably injured, may his death be peaceful. 


Linda Sue said...

Oh my, I have been tearful all day, and part of yesterday, and a little bit the day before - this post just let her rip. Bawling now, Thank you for being such a lovely caring bright spot on this planet,LOVE you! Fingers crossed for Mr. Dog, sad pooch.

Sabine said...

The primatologist Frans de Waal said this (I carry this quote around with me on a piece of paper):

"In psychology, the six basic emotion theory is very popular. It is is based on facial expression studies, and postulates that there are six emotions — anger and fear and so on — that we share with other species, and that we share them across the board. And that all of the other emotions [besides those six] must be uniquely human. So if you talk about, say, jealousy — that’s a human emotion, because it’s not on the list. Or love is not on the list. Even though we have quite a bit of evidence of the Oxytocin system [a bonding hormone] in other animals. There’s a lot of evidence that attachment and bonding occur in other species, of course.
But the more I think about it, I cannot name any emotion that is uniquely human. There are maybe emotions related to religion — let’s say spirituality — but even for that, I cannot exclude that animals have those kinds of feelings. Who says they don’t? In humans, religious feelings are not expressed in the face. That kind of emotion is not visible. And if emotions are not visible, how can we exclude that it exists in other species?"

Ms. Moon said...

I read this last night and the name "Kenny" struck me as a man that I'd loved a very long time ago had that name. I hadn't seen him in well over thirty years. So I did what you do, and I googled him and there is nothing about him online at all except for his obituary.
He died in January.
He was of the Creek tribe and he was beautiful. He loved horses.
Ay. Funny world.
I do eat meat and fish as you know and I have come to peace with that. I also love and appreciate my world of growing things. They sustain me even as I try to sustain some of them. Some of them do not need my help at all- like the old oaks I live beneath.
I love you, Beth. I hope the best for that poor dog, whatever that will mean. Thank you for helping him.